A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Demetric Gillum, who narrowly lost his 2018 gubernatorial race against Ron DeSantis.
Gillum, 42, was named along with Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, 53.
The Indictment alleges that between 2016 and 2019, Gillum and Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud by unlawfully soliciting and obtaining funds from various entities and individuals through false and fraudulent promises and representations that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.
“The indictment further alleges the defendants used third parties to divert a portion of those funds to a company owned by Lettman-Hicks, who then fraudulently provided the funds, disguised as payroll payments, to Gillum for his personal use. Both defendants are charged with 19 counts of wire fraud. Gillum is also charged with making false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” a release from the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida stated.
The maximum terms of imprisonment for the offenses are as follows:
- 5 years: Making False Statements
- 20 years: Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
- 20 years: Wire Fraud
In a written statement, Gillum acknowledged the case but said it was politically motivated without offering specifics.
“I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and continue to fight for the people. Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake that this case is not legal. It is political. Throughout my career, I have always stood up for the people of Florida and have spoken truth to power. There’s been a target on my back ever since I was the mayor of Tallahassee. They found nothing then, and I have full confidence that my legal team will prove my innocence now,” Gillum said.
Gillum’s attorneys Marc Elias and David Oscar Markus also released a statement on Wednesday: “The government got it wrong today. The evidence in this case is clear and will show that Mr. Gillum is innocent of all charges. We look forward to putting this case to rest and giving Andrew and his family peace of mind once and for all.”
In the years following Gillum’s loss to DeSantis, he said he dealt with depression that led him to alcohol abuse. In March 2020, he checked into rehab just days after police said the gubernatorial candidate was inebriated in a Miami hotel room where crystal meth was found. Gillum said he did not use illegal drugs and he was not charged with a crime.